CDC Recommends Limiting Events to 50 People for the Next Eight Weeks

By Paul Riegler on 15 March 2020
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The Tony Awards in Radio City Music Hall

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a recommendation Sunday that called for gatherings in the next eight weeks to be limited to no more than 50 people.

The new guidance came as mayors and governors across the country were directing bars, cafes, and restaurants to close except for take-out or delivery, although the CDC said that the recommendation does not apply to the “day-to-day operation of organizations” such as schools and businesses.  It further cautioned that events “of any size” should only take place if they can adhere to guidelines for “protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing.”

The new recommendation means that numerous cultural institutions that have postponed events will not be able to resume operations as soon as they had originally anticipated last week.  In New York City, Broadway theaters closed last Thursday until April 12 after an usher who worked for two shows tested positive for the coronavirus.  Under the new guidance, shows could resume mid May at the earliest and the closure will most certainly result in the postponement of the Tony Awards and Outer Critics Circle Awards, which take place at the end of each theater season.

“Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of Covid-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities,” the agency said. “Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies.”

Meanwhile, multiple school districts across the country were ordered closed their doors. New York City, which operates the largest school district in the country, will keep its schools closed through at least April 20.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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